22 Quick, Fun Ways To Exercise in a Park

African young woman climbing monkey bars in military training boot camp outdoors at city park - Focus on girl face

Key Points

  • When the weather is nice, you may want to try exercises you can do in a park.

  • Working out outdoors benefits physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health.

  • The best exercises to do in a park involve using on-site equipment and features, bringing small pieces of your own, or simply using your own weight.

  • Avoid certain problems when exercising in a park, such as disturbing others, allergies, overpopulation, and violence.

Exercise carries tons of benefits. Imagine getting even more benefits just by taking that workout outside. People are curious about exercises you can do in a park to mix up their routine, snag some sun, and feel some fresh air.

Working out in a park is free, accessible, and feasible. You hang out with friends, soak up some vitamin D, and improve your mood. Change the flow of your week and workout routine with some exercises you can do in a park.

The Science Behind Being Outside

A study in Scientific Reports says, "Spending at least 120 minutes a week in nature is associated with good health and well-being." Something as small as a 10-minute walk changes your whole brain chemistry.

Being outside increases vitamins and chemicals in the body from sunlight and fresh air. These vitamins and chemicals enhance physical processes, such as burning fat, breaking down toxins, decreasing carbon dioxide, and transporting oxygen.

Being outside is an enjoyable time because you connect with nature. Nature uses your current surroundings to divert your attention to the present. Mulling over the past or obsessing over the future isn't helping. Focus on the now. That's what matters.

Exercising in a Park

Exercising in front of others is intimidating. Exercising in a park makes some nervous. Being prepared improves your confidence and motivates you to get out there!

Focus on how to get there and what to bring and wear.

There are several ways to get to your local park to break a sweat. Find the nearest parks by asking neighbors or doing a quick online search. Travel to your park by bike, carpool, train, subway, or bus. You may even find one within walking distance!

Take a look at the weather, traffic, and transportation statuses beforehand.

One great thing about working out in a park is you don't need to bring anything except a good attitude. Plus, it's free! However, carrying certain items makes your workout more effective.

Some things to consider bringing:

  • Water bottle

  • Towel or a yoga mat

  • Resistance band

  • Jump rope

  • Sunscreen

  • Snack (apple, granola bar, etc.)

What to wear depends on the weather. If it's sunny, remember sunglasses and a sweat rag. If it's cloudy, grab a small backpack and slide an umbrella inside, just in case.

Check your weather forecast for air pollution, temperature, and wind chill. It's safe to workout in temperatures of about 30 – 90 degrees. Anything higher or lower prevents muscles from operating at full potential.

Woman runs stairs at urban park

22 Ways To Exercise at the Park

Once you get ready and to the park, it's time to start moving. Some exercises involve the upper body, others target the lower areas. Many of them work the whole body. Pick about 10 of the following activities and have fun the next time you're at a park.

  1. Climb across the monkey bars. Some parks have playgrounds with monkey bars, or a bar to use for pull-ups. Pull-ups and journeys across the monkey bars improve core and upper body strength.

  2. Use outdoor exercise equipment. Various parks have exercise equipment that uses resistance and body weight to provide a proper workout.

  3. Grab a bench for tricep dips. Sit on the edge of the bench with your palms flat on either side of you and your fingers hanging over the front. Stretch your legs out in front of you. Gently slide off the bench, using your feet and hands to hold you up. Slowly lower your butt down until your arms make a 90-degree angle, then push yourself back up. Repeat about 10 times. Stop if you feel pain in your elbows.

  4. Carry out a few high knee jumps. High knee jumps work the whole body, but especially the legs. High knee jumps are best when done on grass or soft surfaces. To execute this jump, slightly bend your knees and jump, pulling your knees as high to your chest as possible before landing the jump. Think of a cannonball, but on land.

  5. Crush some jumping jacks. Do three sets of 25 jumping jacks or for one minute straight. For your safety, avoid exercising on loose terrain.

  6. Get those glutes going with jump squats. Jump squats are tough, but if you want a bigger behind, these are the sure way to go. Squat, keeping your knees from passing your toes and your feet shoulder-width apart. Then jump straight into the air, reaching high into the sky.

  7. Bust out glute bridges. Lay on a flat, clean surface. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the ground. Your heels need to be about one foot from your butt like you're doing a crunch. Push through your heels and lift your butt off the ground. Raise your hips into the air, then lower them back down.

    Woman does crunches in park

  8. Don't skip an opportunity for stair squats. Find a set of stairs, and do a squat on each step as you move up. Put both feet on the step, then squat before moving to the next.

  9. Bring a yoga mat for a stretching session. Yoga improves stress, blood pressure, energy, and mood. Pair that with fresh air and sunlight, and you'll be zen for the rest of the week.

  10. Don't forget to do a quick walk, run, or jog. Lots of parks operate with runners in mind. Many hold trails for bikes and even some water fountains for runners. Admire the scenery as you break a sweat.

  11. Pump out push-ups on a bench. Place your hands on the back of a bench and step back, holding yourself in push-up position. Make sure your feet and hands won't slip.

  12. Look out for lunges. To complete a lunge, take a large step forward with your left leg, keeping your right leg straight and your foot on the ground. Squat down on your left leg, using your right leg to hold you steady. Your right knee should lower close to the ground. Repeat 10 times on each leg.

  13. Warm up your wrists and jump rope. Jumping rope is a great way to strengthen the heart, burn calories, and improve the ability to breathe. It's fun and easy to carry.

    Two woman stretch before working out in a park

  14. Make your own stair stepper. Bleachers decorate parks everywhere, holding moms and dads cheering for their kids. They're not just great for spectating. Walk up and down the stairs without stopping for 30 minutes to get great exercise. Be cautious of your footing and stop if you get dizzy.

  15. Play a sport. Gather some friends and play a softball game. Find a soccer goal and shoot some drills or bring a basketball and practice your free throw. Take advantage of sports areas for a fun workout.

  16. Join in a class. Sometimes you see groups working out in the park doing yoga, Tai chi, or cardio. It doesn't hurt to ask to join! You may even make a new friend.

  17. Break out the burpees. Burpees are challenging but rewarding. A burpee starts by laying on your stomach on the ground. Push yourself into push-up position, then stand up and jump, pressing your hands into the air. Go back to push-up position and lower yourself to the ground. Perform burpees as quickly and safely as possible.

  18. Run drills. Find two objects in the park a good distance from each other, such as two trees 15 feet apart. Run back and forth between each tree, going as quickly as you're able, for 30 seconds before resting for 30 seconds. Repeat three to five times.

  19. Whip out the crab walk. Sit on the ground with your feet and palms flat. Push your weight, so only your hands and feet are on the ground. Walk for 10 seconds or back and forth in drills.

  20. Move over for mountain climbers. To do mountain climbers, get into push-up position. Raise your right knee to your right elbow. Repeat with your left knee. Go back and forth for 30 – 60 seconds. Focus on keeping your back flat. Pretend there's a stack of books in the middle of your back, and you don't want them to fall.

  21. Perform a walking or stationary handstand. Handstands are greatly beneficial for upper arm and core strength. Use a tree or pole to steady yourself. Remember to breathe and stop if you feel like you're going to pass out. Don't stay in a handstand for more than 60 seconds to avoid blood pooling in the head and losing consciousness.

  22. Keep score for a game of disc golf. Find goals or baskets scattered throughout some parks. Throw your Frisbee into the basket with the least strokes to win. Walking between the baskets and throwing a Frisbee are fun ways to burn extra calories in the park.

Woman uses park equipment to workout

Strive for Smooth Sailing in a Park

Enjoying your workout regimen in the local park is great, but it surely comes with its fair share of issues. A negative experience may cause you to drop your exercise routine or ditch plans for the park.

Disturbing Others

To avoid disturbing others, play your music on headphones or quietly on a speaker kept near your ear. Ensure the music isn't offensive. Choose a less populated area of the park. That way, you have enough space to exercise without bumping into others.


Parks are usually full of trees and plants that produce pollen, a fine powder created by flowers that plagues allergy-sufferers. Symptoms of a pollen allergy include runny or stuffy nose, sneezing and itchy ears, eyes, nose, or mouth.

Take allergy medicine before heading out to exercise. Hop in the shower and change clothes when you get home to remove excess pollen. Workout in a mask or in the evening when the pollen count is lowest to reduce exposure.

Too Many People

Nice weather means more people enjoying parks. Sometimes it takes more work to find the right spot than at other times. If it's too crowded, alter your plans a bit. If you had your heart set on drills, do some burpees instead.

Bringing equipment also allows you to get a good workout in, despite space. Consider grabbing a backpack and bringing a jump rope, yoga mat, and resistance bands. These items give you whole-body training in a small area.

Woman completes a workout in the park

Staying Safe

Unfortunately, exercising in a park is potentially dangerous, especially for women. Stay vigilant. Only go during sunlight hours and workout with a friend. Stay near sidewalks or populated areas and within sight of your car. Wear only one headphone or listen at a low volume.

Download an app that tells others where you are and when you finish. Check-in with friends and family before and after. Stay in low-crime areas and share your location with others.

Head to the Park

Where is your nearest park? Whether it's a tree farm, or a three-story jungle gym, the best exercises in a park range from squatting to swinging across the monkey bars.

When the weather is nice, grab a friend and head to the park for some aerobics or a quick cardio session. Exercising in a park benefits everyone, whether it's a brisk walk or an hour-long volleyball game.

Being outside changes your outlook on life. You gain a stronger connection with nature and appreciate its beauty. You get so many benefits from exercising in a park wrapped up in one session.

What are you most excited about gaining through your fitness journey? Stay up to date with all things fitness by subscribing to FitAndFab.

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